Site Archive‎ > ‎Elections‎ > ‎2012‎ > ‎

Navalny Sets Up Web Project to Monitor Presidential Elections

Source: HRO.org (info), 25/01/12

· Electoral rights

Political activist and blogger, Aleksei Navalny, who has created the Web projects “RosPil” and “RosYama”, has set up a new website “RosVybory” (Russian Elections). The blog is designed for people who would like to become election monitors during the presidential elections scheduled for 4 March. Navalny announced his latest project on his LiveJournal blog. 

People who wish to become election monitors may do so by filling out a form on the Rosvybory website. Those organizing the project then assign the volunteers, particularly to those polling stations they consider to be most prone to fraud. The election monitors will represent the parties that have put forward candidates for president: the Communist Party, Just Russia and possibly Yabloko, if the Central Election Commission were to allow Grigory Yavlinsky to register his candidacy. 

The home page of RosVybory states: “We ask that you temporarily put aside your own political biases. You will be registered as a monitor with the party that has vacancies for observers at the polling station nearest to where you live.”

“We are specifically choosing those polling districts where obvious voting fraud took place at the previous elections,” Navalny says. “We shall assign two, and if possible, three, election monitors to each of these districts. We will also have mobile groups with lawyers in these districts.” Navalny further states that “one wonderful volunteer used statistics to determine which precincts were most prone to fraud.” The volunteer divided the districts into three categories: “Those where everything was OK, those where things were suspicious, and those where there was fraud.”

Lenta.ru, has reported that according to Navalny the organizers of Rosvybory are planning to use volunteer monitors to completely cover Moscow, St. Petersburg, Ekaterinburg, and some of the polling districts in Ufa and Kazan. Navalny called on activists across Russia to form their own election monitoring groups, based where they live, and also to be ready to act as monitors in other cities. “There is a terrible discrepancy: in those regions where there were many wonderful activists (like Ekaterinburg), there was not much voting fraud. But we need mass election monitoring in towns like Saransk, where the Crooks and Thieves won 99% of the vote,” Navalny explained.

The presidential elections are scheduled for 4 March 2012. After widespread reports of ballot fraud during the parliamentary elections this past December, prime minister and presidential candidate Vladimir Putin has called for the presidential elections to be maximally transparent. Putin also proposed that web cameras be installed in every polling station. On the basis of Putin’s proposal, the Ministry of Communications promised that by 4 March at least 60% of polling stations would have web cameras.